Nature Vs. Nurture

Uncategorized Apr 25, 2019

Nature Vs Nurture is a hotly debated topic in the dog training world.

Is the dogs bad or good behaviour because they are genetically predisposed or is it because of the influence of the environment they were raised in?

In my opinion it is a combination of the two. Yes, every dog (and person) is unique and has their ownpersonality and like or don’t like different things regardless of the environment they were raised. Ihave met many dogs that are innately more likely to be anxious or innately more like to beprotective. Does that mean they can’t learn to live, cope and thrive in their home environment?Absolutely not! It just means they will need the training, guidance and understanding in order to do so.

The biggest problem I find with the nature vs nurture debate is that ‘nature’ is very often used as an excuse for poor behaviour. Are there dogs that can’t be helped because they are genetically disposed to the behaviour? Yes, but they are very very few and far between. I’m yet to work with a dog that can’t be helped. All too often a dog is aggressive or fearful and the owner or trainer will say there’s nothing they can do to help them because ‘of their breeding’ or ‘because they were from bad breeders’, that may be true but that doesn’t mean that dog can’t be rehabilitated. Unfortunately bad breeding is all too often used an excuse for a dogs behaviour and a reason for euthanizing anotherwise healthy dog. Many times I’ve worked with these dogs out of their home environment andI see a completely different dog to the owners because of the different environment and human influences surrounding them. They become relaxed, happy and social. So then it’s my job to teachthe owner how to rehabilitate the dog socially, emotionally and physically so the dog becomes the best version of themselves and they can finally enjoy each others company!

All in all, Yes genetics plays a role in a dog behaviour, No that doesn’t mean they are untrainable.


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